MC-130 Combat Talon: Aircraft profile

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The MC-130E Combat Talon I and MC-130H Combat Talon II provide infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces and equipment in hostile or denied territory.

MC-130 Combat Talon: An air-to-air front view of an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft of the 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) during a Fulton recovery mission.MC-130 Combat Talon: An air-to-air front view of an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft of the 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) during a Fulton recovery mission.

Secondary missions include psychological operations and helicopter air refueling

Features

Both aircraft feature terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radars capable of operations as low as 250 feet in adverse weather conditions. Structural changes to a basic C-130 include the addition of an in-flight refueling receptacle, and strengthening of the tail to allow high speed/low-signature airdrop. Their navigation suites include dual ring-laser gyros, mission computers and integrated global positioning system. They can locate, and either land or airdrop on small, unmarked zones with pinpoint accuracy day or night.

An extensive electronic warfare suite enables the aircrew to detect and avoid potential threats. If engaged, the system will protect the aircraft from both radar and infrared-guided threats.

MC-130 Combat Talon flares: The mission of the MC-130E Combat Talon I and MC-130H Combat Talon II is to provide global, day, night and adverse weather capability to airdrop and airland personnel and equipment in support of U.S. and allied special operations forces. The MC-130E also has a deep penetrating helicopter refueling role during special operations missions. These aircraft are equipped with in-flight refueling equipment, terrain-following, terrain-avoidance radar, an inertial and global positioning satellite navigation system, and a high-speed aerial delivery system. The special navigation and aerial delivery systems are used to locate small drop zones and deliver people or equipment with greater accuracy and at higher speeds than possible with a standard C-130. The aircraft is able to penetrate hostile airspace at low altitudes and crews are specially trained in night and adverse weather operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds)MC-130 Combat Talon flares: The mission of the MC-130E Combat Talon I and MC-130H Combat Talon II is to provide global, day, night and adverse weather capability to airdrop and airland personnel and equipment in support of U.S. and allied special operations forces. The MC-130E also has a deep penetrating helicopter refueling role during special operations missions. These aircraft are equipped with in-flight refueling equipment, terrain-following, terrain-avoidance radar, an inertial and global positioning satellite navigation system, and a high-speed aerial delivery system. The special navigation and aerial delivery systems are used to locate small drop zones and deliver people or equipment with greater accuracy and at higher speeds than possible with a standard C-130. The aircraft is able to penetrate hostile airspace at low altitudes and crews are specially trained in night and adverse weather operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds)

Both the MC-130E and MC-130H are equipped with aerial refueling pods to provide in-flight refueling of special operations forces and combat search and rescue helicopters.

The primary difference between the MC-130E and MC-130H involves the degree of integration of the mission computers and avionics suite. The Combat Talon I was conceived originally and developed during the 1960s, and although extensively upgraded in the 1980-90s it still features analog instrumentation and does not fully integrate the sensors and communications suites. The Combat Talon II, designed in the 1980s, features an integrated glass flight deck which improves crew coordination and reduces the crew complement by two.

MC-130 Combat Talon: ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The C-130 production branch at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., was asked by Air Force Special Operations Command officials to accelerate work on four aircraft and get them back to the warfighter. The four aircraft include one AC-130H gunship and three MC-130 Combat Talon IIs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)MC-130 Combat Talon: ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The C-130 production branch at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., was asked by Air Force Special Operations Command officials to accelerate work on four aircraft and get them back to the warfighter. The four aircraft include one AC-130H gunship and three MC-130 Combat Talon IIs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

Background

The MC-130E Combat Talon first flew in 1966 and saw extensive service in Southeast Asia, including the attempted rescue of Americans held at the Son Tay prisoner-of-war camp in 1970. Also, the MC-130E landed in the Iranian desert in April 1980 in support of Operation Eagle Claw, the attempt to rescue American hostages held by Iran.

The MC-130E saw combat in Grenada in 1983, delivering U.S. Army Rangers to Point Salinas Airfield in the opening moments of Operation Urgent Fury, and subsequently performing psychological operations leaflet drops. In 1989 they led the joint task force for Operation Just Cause in Panama, helping to seize the airfield at Rio Hato.

In 1990, MC-130Es were employed in Operation Desert Storm, where they dropped 11 BLU-82 15,000-pound bombs and more than 23 million leaflets in a highly effective effort to encourage Iraqi soldiers to surrender. They also conducted numerous aerial refuelings of special operations helicopters with combat search and rescue operations.

The MC-130H Combat Talon II first arrived at Hurlburt Field, Fla., June 29, 1992, and after acceptance testing, began official flying operations Oct. 17, 1992. Since then, the MC-130H has played a vital role in AFSOC operations. Some of the aircraft's highlights include the evacuations of non-combatant Americans and other civilians from conflicts in Liberia in 1996. Also, in 1998, a Combat Talon II aircrew was awarded the Mackay Trophy for the involvement in the evacuation of civilians from the Republic of the Congo (1997); and they participated in combat operations in the Balkans during Operation Allied Force.

More recently, both aircraft have been used extensively in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom in a variety of roles.

MC-130 Combat Talon: Captain Cesar Sandan, USAF, 7th Special Operations Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, UK, in the co-pilots seat, performs pre-flight checks on an MC-130H Combat Talon II before a local proficiency training flight.MC-130 Combat Talon: Captain Cesar Sandan, USAF, 7th Special Operations Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, UK, in the co-pilots seat, performs pre-flight checks on an MC-130H Combat Talon II before a local proficiency training flight.

General Characteristics

Primary Function: Infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces

Contractor: Lockheed
Power Plant: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines
Thrust: 4,910 shaft horsepower each engine
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches (40.4 meters)
Length:

MC-130E: 100 feet, 10 inches (30.7 meters)
MC-130H: 99 feet, 9 inches (30.4 meters)

Height: 38 feet, 6 inches (11.7 meters)
Speed: 300 mph

Load:

MC-130E: 53 troops, 26 paratroopers
MC-130H: 77 troops, 52 paratroopers or 57 litter patients

Ceiling: 33,000 feet (10,000 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight:155,000 pounds (69,750 kilograms)
Range: 2,700 nautical miles (4,344 kilometers); Inflight refueling extends this to unlimited range

Crew:

MC-130E: Two pilots, two navigators and an electronic warfare officer (officers); flight engineer, radio operator and two loadmasters (enlisted)

MC-130H: Two pilots, a navigator and electronic warfare officer (officers); flight engineer and two loadmasters (enlisted)

Date Deployed: MC-130E, 1966; MC-130H, June 1991
Unit Cost: MC-130E, $75 million; MC-130H, $155 million (fiscal 2001 constant dollars)
Inventory: Active force, MC-130H, 20; Reserve, MC-130E, 10; ANG, 0

Source: USAF

More information:

Source: wikipedia.org

The Lockheed MC-130 is the basic designation for a family of special-missions aircraft operated by the United States Air Force. Based on the C-130 Hercules transport, they are designed to provide infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces, as well as psychological operations support and helicopter air refueling. Variants include the MC-130E Combat Talon I, MC-130H Combat Talon II, MC-130P Combat Shadow, and MC-130W Combat Spear.

MC-130 Combat Talon: A Loadmaster aboard a US Air Force (USAF) MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft assigned to the 711th Special Operations Squadron (SOS), looks out the crew door as a USAF HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter assigned to the 66th Rescue Squadron (RQS) approaches his aircraft for refueling, during a mission over Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Nevada (NV), during a joint service experimentation process dubbed Millennium Challenge 2002 (MC02). Sponsored by the US Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), the MC02 experiment explores how Effects Based Operations (EBO) can provide an integrated joint context for conducting rapid, decisive operations (RDO).MC-130 Combat Talon: A Loadmaster aboard a US Air Force (USAF) MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft assigned to the 711th Special Operations Squadron (SOS), looks out the crew door as a USAF HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter assigned to the 66th Rescue Squadron (RQS) approaches his aircraft for refueling, during a mission over Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Nevada (NV), during a joint service experimentation process dubbed Millennium Challenge 2002 (MC02). Sponsored by the US Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), the MC02 experiment explores how Effects Based Operations (EBO) can provide an integrated joint context for conducting rapid, decisive operations (RDO).

MC-130E Combat Talon I

The MC-130E was developed in the early 1960s. The Combat Talon I was equipped with an electronic and infrared (IR) countermeasures suite and terrain-following radar, enabling it to avoid enemy radar and anti aircraft weapons. It also featured a Fulton surface-to-air recovery system, which could be used to extract personnel and materials via air. A large helium balloon would raise a nylon lift line into the air, which would then be snagged by a large scissors-shaped assembly (called whiskers) on the nose of the plane, which were normally laid back alongside the nose but deployed pointing forward in a V-shape for the line capture when in use. The whiskers snagged the line and released the balloon, yanking the attached cargo off the ground with a shock less than that of an opening parachute. Wires stretched from the nose to both leading wing tip edges protected the propellors from the line on missed snag attempts. Crew members hooked the snagged line as it trailed behind and attached it to the hydraulic winch, pulling the attached person or cargo into the plane through the rear cargo door.

The Fulton recovery system has since been removed from all Combat Talon aircraft.

The Combat Talon I also features refueling pods which allow in-flight refueling of properly equipped helicopters. The refueling system utilizes two removable 1,800 gallon fuel tanks (known as a Benson Tanks) which expand the aircraft's fuel capacity.

The Combat Talon I first saw operational action in the Vietnam War. The aircraft was used to drop leaflets over North Vietnamese positions, and to insert special forces units into enemy territory. Officially referred to as Operation Stray Goose, the mission required Combat Talon I crews to fly alone and unescorted into dangerous areas. Following the war, the aircraft would remain in active service, with its crews participating in training missions.

The aircraft saw action in Operation Eagle Claw (the failure of which demonstrated the United States' poor management of special operation forces after Vietnam), Operation Just Cause from December 1989 to January 1990 in the American action to restore democracy in the Republic of Panama.

Operation Desert Storm saw the Combat Talon I in action again. The aircraft performed one-third of all airdrops during the campaign, and participated heavily in psychological operations. Combat Talon I crews dropped several BLU-82 Daisy Cutter bombs and flew several leaflet-drop sorties in the war's opening stages, then converted to a search and rescue role as the conflict progressed.

The Talon I terrain following radar system allows it to fly at extremely low altitudes. This capability allows it to avoid enemy radar detection systems. It is often said that the Talon I is "heard before it is seen" since it can fly so close to the ground. The aircraft utilizes three distinct radar systems to accomplish this feat.

MC-130H Combat Talon II

The MC-130H Combat Talon II first entered active service in 1990. Originally designed to replace the Combat Talon I, an increase in the requirement for special-operations-capable aircraft stalled plans to retire its older cousin. The Combat Talon II features a stronger airframe and modifications to the rear and aft cargo doors. The electronics suite has been upgraded, and includes Global Positioning System navigation, special radars for navigating in adverse weather, and night-vision capability. These new technologies allow the Combat Talon II to fly as low as 250 feet (76 m) above ground level in the weather, and make faster, more accurate airdrops. Increases in automation also reduce the aircrew by two.

The first combat deployment of a Combat Talon II was in 1996 when special operations units were deployed to Liberia where crews assisted in the evacuation of 2000 civilians from the American embassy when the country broke down into civil war. Similar circumstances brought the Combat Talon II to Zaire in 1997. Later that year, MC-130H missions carried commando units into Cambodia. A Combat Talon II aircrew earned the Mackay Trophy for an embassy evacuation mission in the Republic of the Congo in June 1997. The crew rescued thirty Americans and twenty-six foreign nationals, and involved twenty-one hours of flight time.

More photos:

MC-130 Combat Talon: UDON THANI, Thailand -- Staff Sgt. Jonathan Rhoads, a communications navigation specialist with the 353rd Maintenance Squadron, unplugs an MC-130H Combat Talon II from external power before a mission here. Rhoads and other members of the 353rd Special Operations Group deployed here for Cobra Gold 2003, a multination, multiservice exercise designed to ensure regional peace, strengthen the ability of the Thai armed forces and demonstrate U.S. resolve in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Farris)MC-130 Combat Talon: UDON THANI, Thailand -- Staff Sgt. Jonathan Rhoads, a communications navigation specialist with the 353rd Maintenance Squadron, unplugs an MC-130H Combat Talon II from external power before a mission here. Rhoads and other members of the 353rd Special Operations Group deployed here for Cobra Gold 2003, a multination, multiservice exercise designed to ensure regional peace, strengthen the ability of the Thai armed forces and demonstrate U.S. resolve in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Farris)

MC-130 Combat Talon: ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The C-130 production branch at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., was asked by Air Force Special Operations Command officials to accelerate work on four aircraft and get them back to the warfighter. The four aircraft include one AC-130H gunship and three MC-130 Combat Talon IIs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)MC-130 Combat Talon: ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The C-130 production branch at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., was asked by Air Force Special Operations Command officials to accelerate work on four aircraft and get them back to the warfighter. The four aircraft include one AC-130H gunship and three MC-130 Combat Talon IIs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)

MC-130 Combat Talon: The mission of the MC-130E Combat Talon I and MC-130H Combat Talon II is to provide global, day, night and adverse weather capability to airdrop and airland personnel and equipment in support of U.S. and allied special operations forces. The MC-130E also has a deep penetrating helicopter refueling role during special operations missions. These aircraft are equipped with in-flight refueling equipment, terrain-following, terrain-avoidance radar, an inertial and global positioning satellite navigation system, and a high-speed aerial delivery system. The special navigation and aerial delivery systems are used to locate small drop zones and deliver people or equipment with greater accuracy and at higher speeds than possible with a standard C-130. The aircraft is able to penetrate hostile airspace at low altitudes and crews are specially trained in night and adverse weather operations. (U.S. Air Force photo)MC-130 Combat Talon: The mission of the MC-130E Combat Talon I and MC-130H Combat Talon II is to provide global, day, night and adverse weather capability to airdrop and airland personnel and equipment in support of U.S. and allied special operations forces. The MC-130E also has a deep penetrating helicopter refueling role during special operations missions. These aircraft are equipped with in-flight refueling equipment, terrain-following, terrain-avoidance radar, an inertial and global positioning satellite navigation system, and a high-speed aerial delivery system. The special navigation and aerial delivery systems are used to locate small drop zones and deliver people or equipment with greater accuracy and at higher speeds than possible with a standard C-130. The aircraft is able to penetrate hostile airspace at low altitudes and crews are specially trained in night and adverse weather operations. (U.S. Air Force photo)

MC-130 Combat Talon flares: The mission of the MC-130E Combat Talon I and MC-130H Combat Talon II is to provide global, day, night and adverse weather capability to airdrop and airland personnel and equipment in support of U.S. and allied special operations forces. The MC-130E also has a deep penetrating helicopter refueling role during special operations missions. These aircraft are equipped with in-flight refueling equipment, terrain-following, terrain-avoidance radar, an inertial and global positioning satellite navigation system, and a high-speed aerial delivery system. The special navigation and aerial delivery systems are used to locate small drop zones and deliver people or equipment with greater accuracy and at higher speeds than possible with a standard C-130. The aircraft is able to penetrate hostile airspace at low altitudes and crews are specially trained in night and adverse weather operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds)MC-130 Combat Talon flares: The mission of the MC-130E Combat Talon I and MC-130H Combat Talon II is to provide global, day, night and adverse weather capability to airdrop and airland personnel and equipment in support of U.S. and allied special operations forces. The MC-130E also has a deep penetrating helicopter refueling role during special operations missions. These aircraft are equipped with in-flight refueling equipment, terrain-following, terrain-avoidance radar, an inertial and global positioning satellite navigation system, and a high-speed aerial delivery system. The special navigation and aerial delivery systems are used to locate small drop zones and deliver people or equipment with greater accuracy and at higher speeds than possible with a standard C-130. The aircraft is able to penetrate hostile airspace at low altitudes and crews are specially trained in night and adverse weather operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds)

MC-130 Combat Talon: OFF THE COAST OF FLORIDA -- Two 16th Special Operations Wing MC-130 Combat Talons fly along the coastline. The 16th SOW specializes in unconventional warfare. At the direction of the National Command Authorities, the 16th SOW goes into action with specially trained and equipped forces from each service working as a team to support national security objectives. Special operations are often undertaken in enemy-controlled or politically-sensitive areas and can cover a myriad of activities. The 16th SOW's motto is, "Any Time, Any Place." The wing stands ready to go worldwide to conduct unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, or psychological operations. Through special operations, the United States is able to protect its interests in low-intensity conflicts throughout the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andy Dunaway)MC-130 Combat Talon: OFF THE COAST OF FLORIDA -- Two 16th Special Operations Wing MC-130 Combat Talons fly along the coastline. The 16th SOW specializes in unconventional warfare. At the direction of the National Command Authorities, the 16th SOW goes into action with specially trained and equipped forces from each service working as a team to support national security objectives. Special operations are often undertaken in enemy-controlled or politically-sensitive areas and can cover a myriad of activities. The 16th SOW's motto is, "Any Time, Any Place." The wing stands ready to go worldwide to conduct unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, or psychological operations. Through special operations, the United States is able to protect its interests in low-intensity conflicts throughout the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andy Dunaway)

MC-130 Combat Talon: MC-130H Combat Talon I, June 1991MC-130 Combat Talon: MC-130H Combat Talon I, June 1991

MC-130 Combat Talon: ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- An MC-130H Combat Talon II takes off from the flightline here May 20. The MC-130H is assigned to the 352nd Special Operations Group at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tony R. Tolley)MC-130 Combat Talon: ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- An MC-130H Combat Talon II takes off from the flightline here May 20. The MC-130H is assigned to the 352nd Special Operations Group at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tony R. Tolley)

MC-130 Combat Talon: MEDAN, Indonesia -- A loadmaster guides a forklift into position here during a load of humanitarian supplies. The aircraft made two deliveries into the tsunami-battered region of Banda Aceh on Jan. 8. Another MC-130H Combat Talon II crew from the 353rd Special Operations group made two additional deliveries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Farris)MC-130 Combat Talon: MEDAN, Indonesia -- A loadmaster guides a forklift into position here during a load of humanitarian supplies. The aircraft made two deliveries into the tsunami-battered region of Banda Aceh on Jan. 8. Another MC-130H Combat Talon II crew from the 353rd Special Operations group made two additional deliveries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Farris)

MC-130 Combat Talon: BANDA ACEH, Indonesia -- A Spanish Red Cross water purification trailer is taken off an MC-130H Combat Talon II here by aerial delivery support branch specialists. Airmen of the 353rd Special Operations Group and Theater Special Operations Air Component help move tons of cargo daily at the tiny airfield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Farris)MC-130 Combat Talon: BANDA ACEH, Indonesia -- A Spanish Red Cross water purification trailer is taken off an MC-130H Combat Talon II here by aerial delivery support branch specialists. Airmen of the 353rd Special Operations Group and Theater Special Operations Air Component help move tons of cargo daily at the tiny airfield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Farris)

MC-130 Combat Talon: ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFPN) -- An MC-130 Combat Talon approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker for refueling. The KC-135 is from the 168th Air Refueling Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard. The 168th is deployed to Andersen as part of the Air and Space Expeditionary Force rotations and is supporting all U.S. aircraft in the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)MC-130 Combat Talon: ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFPN) -- An MC-130 Combat Talon approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker for refueling. The KC-135 is from the 168th Air Refueling Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard. The 168th is deployed to Andersen as part of the Air and Space Expeditionary Force rotations and is supporting all U.S. aircraft in the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)

MC-130 Combat Talon: EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An MC-130E Combat Talon I arrived here in October to receive avionics modernization program upgrades. After undergoing several months of modifications, 418th Flight Test Squadron Airmen successfully performed the aircraft's first risk reduction flight on March 15. (U.S. Air Force photo)MC-130 Combat Talon: EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An MC-130E Combat Talon I arrived here in October to receive avionics modernization program upgrades. After undergoing several months of modifications, 418th Flight Test Squadron Airmen successfully performed the aircraft's first risk reduction flight on March 15. (U.S. Air Force photo)

MC-130 Combat Talon: The 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) conducts training for special air operations and related activities. The unit also trains with Army Special Forces and Navy SEALs for unconventional warfare operations. A controller coordinates with an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft by radio as the aircraft approaches a Fulton recovery balloon.MC-130 Combat Talon: The 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) conducts training for special air operations and related activities. The unit also trains with Army Special Forces and Navy SEALs for unconventional warfare operations. A controller coordinates with an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft by radio as the aircraft approaches a Fulton recovery balloon.

MC-130 Combat Talon: A rear view of a Combat Talon MC-130E Hercules aircraft parked on the flight line. The aircraft is equipped with Fulton surface-to-air recovery (STAR) gear on the nose.MC-130 Combat Talon: A rear view of a Combat Talon MC-130E Hercules aircraft parked on the flight line. The aircraft is equipped with Fulton surface-to-air recovery (STAR) gear on the nose.

MC-130 Combat Talon: An air-to-air front view of an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft of the 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) during a Fulton recovery mission. The 7th SOS conducts training for special air operations and related activities. The unit also trains with Army Special Forces and Navy Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) team members for unconventional warfare operations.MC-130 Combat Talon: An air-to-air front view of an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft of the 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) during a Fulton recovery mission. The 7th SOS conducts training for special air operations and related activities. The unit also trains with Army Special Forces and Navy Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) team members for unconventional warfare operations.

MC-130 Combat Talon: The 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) conducts training for special air operations and related activities. The unit also trains with Army Special Forces and Navy SEALs for unconventional warfare operations. Front view of an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft of the 7th SOS during a Fulton recovery mission.MC-130 Combat Talon: The 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) conducts training for special air operations and related activities. The unit also trains with Army Special Forces and Navy SEALs for unconventional warfare operations. Front view of an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft of the 7th SOS during a Fulton recovery mission.

MC-130 Combat Talon: The 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) conducts training for special air operations and related activities. The unit also trains with Army Special Forces and Navy SEALS for unconventional warfare operations. High angle left front view of an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft of the 7th SOS during a Fulton recovery mission.MC-130 Combat Talon: The 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) conducts training for special air operations and related activities. The unit also trains with Army Special Forces and Navy SEALS for unconventional warfare operations. High angle left front view of an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft of the 7th SOS during a Fulton recovery mission.

MC-130 Combat Talon: The 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) conducts training for special air operations and related activities. The unit also trains with Army Special Forces and Navy SEALS for unconventional warfare operations. A front view of an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft of the 7th SOS during a Fulton recovery mission.MC-130 Combat Talon: The 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) conducts training for special air operations and related activities. The unit also trains with Army Special Forces and Navy SEALS for unconventional warfare operations. A front view of an MC-130E Hercules Combat Talon aircraft of the 7th SOS during a Fulton recovery mission.

MC-130 Combat Talon: On display for its rollout, the nose section of an MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft assigned to the 8th Special Operations Squadron reveals the bulbous housing for its AN/APQ-170 radar; an infrared set is in the bubble beneath. The MC-130H is a special operations modification of the Hercules cargo aircraft, equipped with advanced avionics, in-flight refueling equipment, and the High-Speed, Low-Level Recovery System (HSLLADS).MC-130 Combat Talon: On display for its rollout, the nose section of an MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft assigned to the 8th Special Operations Squadron reveals the bulbous housing for its AN/APQ-170 radar; an infrared set is in the bubble beneath. The MC-130H is a special operations modification of the Hercules cargo aircraft, equipped with advanced avionics, in-flight refueling equipment, and the High-Speed, Low-Level Recovery System (HSLLADS).

MC-130 Combat Talon: Left side air-to-air view of a C-130E Combat Talon aircraft, operated by the 7th Special Operations Squadron, making a drop of Army paratroopers.MC-130 Combat Talon: Left side air-to-air view of a C-130E Combat Talon aircraft, operated by the 7th Special Operations Squadron, making a drop of Army paratroopers.

MC-130 Combat Talon: MC-130 Combat Talon releases flares.MC-130 Combat Talon: MC-130 Combat Talon releases flares.

More photos: MC-130 Combat Talon photo gallery

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